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Old December 19, 2018, 02:37 PM   #26
n4aof
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Originally Posted by rodfac View Post
Bear spray first and foremost, but I'd still carry a big revolver...
Why??
Seriously, if you are carrying bear spray and planning to use bear spray "first" why would you "still carry a big revolver" that you will probably never have the need or opportunity to use?

Do the bears in your area charge in slow motion like the running lovers in some romantic comedy on TV?

Bear attacks are unlikely, but they do occur. When an attack occurs you will have a need and an opportunity to defend yourself -- a need and an opportunity -- a/an as in ONE. You are very unlikely to have time to draw, aim, and fire with two completely different defensive systems -- and yes, you have to draw and aim and fire with bear spray.

I don't have any intention of getting into the argument over which is better for bear protection, but simply questioning the rationale for planning to use both.
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Old December 19, 2018, 03:04 PM   #27
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I'm not a bear expert.I had one up close and personal experience with a black bear(with injuries) in AK.
That did inspire an interest in predatory black bears.There was a (AS I recall) National Geographic documentary on fatal predatory black bear attacks.It included some footage of the victim with camera being stalked.

I have also watched video online of people being stalked by black bears.Some died.(I'm not finding these videos today.They may have been scrubbed)

Those videos put the hair on my neck up.I saw the same expression,the same movements from the bear I ended up killing .

I'm not saying bears never make a surprise sudden rush.

But I think more often they just relentlessly approach.No expression,no rush.Just observing you and closing distance. They rush when they are close,

Understand,I used a 12 ga,I killed the bear,and I'm grateful I had a gun.

But stats say bear spray is effective,and may be,in some cases,more effective than a gun.

I had time to whack my bear in the face,(he backed off)holler,and fire a warning shot(ignored) I certainly could have sprayed this bear. He just was not leaving,he was moving closer,he already bit my wife,and we were 200 river miles from the nearest road. It was time to shoot.Whether this all took 30 seconds or a minute,I could not say.

IMO,if you stumble on a cub or a kill,surprise the bear,in general,you may get a sudden ,violent reaction.If you are unaware you are being stalked,you may get the final rush.

But,IMO,when a predatory black bear wants to eat you,its a more methodical,no place to go stalk.

https://youtu.be/3P3a9zgzEgk

Last edited by HiBC; December 19, 2018 at 04:10 PM.
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Old December 19, 2018, 05:04 PM   #28
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Bear spray makes sense when planning outdoor activities in areas frequented by bears. The only reason not to carry it in such a situation is if you are already at your maximum for comfortable gear carry, and a gun is already a part of that.

That said, I'm familiar with black bear. Most can be shouted away but you never know. Based on the ones I've seen in the Northeastern US, I think .357 magnum or 10mm would be okay. I've heard of black bear and even a charging moose being taken with .40 S&W. Most of the black bear I've seen IRL have been on the small side and I don't have reason to doubt stories about dropping them with .40 S&W. I think .357 magnum or 10mm offers a little more psychological comfort in the least.

Given the original question, I don't recommend single action for defense against immediate threats. I put that in the same category as carrying on an empty chamber or using a manual safety. I would definitely choose the Model 69 between those two. However, I would much rather carry a 4-5" 686 or GP100 in .357 magnum.
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Old December 19, 2018, 06:53 PM   #29
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The most important thing is to put bullets in the bear accurately and quickly. As Wyatt Earp said, “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” It sure is when facing and charging bear. A gun that fits your hand so it point like your finger is more important than having 475 Limbaugh and going night blind from the fire ball when you shot one round and miss. A 9mm that hit where meant it to would get better results.

To drop a bear or any animal dead in its track a shot to the brain stem or upper spinal cord is all the does the job. A post by Bryan Potratz shows how a bears brain lays. Some say shoot between the eyes where the skull is thin and others sayon the nose as if it were a charging water buffalo.

A bear's brain is lot lower in it's skull than most think and even a so to the upper brain will kill the bear but it may die after it kills you so putting the bullet deep it the brain stem is important.

A hard cast 170 or 180 grain bullet in 357 going just below the speed of sound at your elevation and temperature should plow though the nose deep into the brain stem if you have to put the bullet on the end of his nose.

From watching brown/black bear charges on Youtube the seemed to mostly charge(on Youtube) with their head in position to shoot between the eyes. If their mouth is open and their head held low a shot to the nose with long heavy solid bullet would be my choice.

If felt I could put 4 rapid shots in between the eyes of charging bear with my 357 that would be good enough otherwise I'd bring a shotgun with s sling and slugs.

At home a 12 gauge shot gun that will put 3 shots in one inch circle at 20 yards with a red dot scope, laser and light attached to the barrel would be my choice for bears. The new Mossberg 590M with 3 or 4 magazines one with slugs for bears on with #00 buck and another with #4 buck for 2 legged varmints, coyotes, raccoons and such in the hen house. Then have one with shot for the game you kill for the pot.

Last edited by OldManInOklahoma; December 22, 2018 at 04:24 PM.
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Old December 19, 2018, 06:58 PM   #30
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n4aof No need to shout, it's rude...that said, I take your points at face value...but we differ. And thanks too for allusion "running lovers in some romantic comedy on TV...it made my day, and my first ever "ignored" member. Best Regards, Rod
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Old December 19, 2018, 09:59 PM   #31
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Bear spray.

period.

Period.
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Old December 20, 2018, 03:06 AM   #32
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Ralph Flowers was a professional bear hunter and trapper for the Washington timber industry in the 50's and 60's. He probably killed more black bears than anyone else. In his book "The Education of a Bear Hunter," the firearm he used to dispatch trapped bears, and to chase wounded bears in thick brush, was a .357.
I run across a few bears a year and carry a 10mm. It's become an incredibly popular round for tooling around in bear country. I'm not too proud to admit that situation and terrain could make me thankful for more rounds than a revolver affords.
I occasionally carry spray if my dog will be off leash and/or I'll be bushwacking along noisey creeks.
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Old December 20, 2018, 08:54 AM   #33
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There is one camp that has data to suggest that bear spray is effective and there is less risk of injury to the user by the bear when bear spray is used.

There is the other camp that argues that pistols are effective, very effective, but apparently neglect to mention that injury to the person by the bear is more common when firearms are used.

Me? I would carry both. If it is rainy or windy, I think gun would be my first option. Otherwise, if it is calmer winds or not rainy, bear spray.
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Old December 20, 2018, 09:11 AM   #34
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Watch-n-learn, kids. Various handguns and shotguns are tested by real Alaskans, along with reaction time and shot-placement, in a series of 'simulated' Grizzly charges.

Would you survive the rampaging jaws and claws of death ... Hmmmmm?

'Charging Bear Attack Drill' - Part 1:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hx-saB0HQtg

'Charging Bear Attack Drill' - Part 2:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7ODCQwmAvd0&t=9s

No cuddly-wuddly black bears here ... and pepper spray, aside from being subject to the variables of wind direction and luck, is for wilderness virgins and Left-Coast snowflakes.

Last edited by agtman; December 20, 2018 at 09:16 AM.
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Old December 20, 2018, 09:11 AM   #35
buck460XVR
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Originally Posted by n4aof View Post
If the encounter "turned out bad for the bear" exactly how does one retroactively "prove" what the bear would have done?
Basically distance and wound angle.

There are two types of charges made by blackies—bluff charges and aggressive charges.

Bluff charges are far more common.

Bluff charges are meant to scare or intimidate. When a bear bluff charges, it will have its head and ears up and forward. The bear will puff itself up to look bigger. It will bound on its front paws toward you (moving in big leaps), but then stop short or veer off to one side. This is when running will get you in trouble.

Folks often complain about the limited range of bear sprays. Thing is, if the bear is not within range of the spray, it probably isn't attacking you.
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Old December 20, 2018, 02:16 PM   #36
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About three years ago, I was walking off-trail in an area that had been badly eroded by a flood the year before, and I was having to carefully watch my footing, so I wasn't paying much attention to my surroundings. As a result, I walked right up on a big momma black bear, with two second-year cubs on either side of her. All 3 were standing upright on their hind legs, staring at me, probably less than 7 yards away, to my right. I was carrying my 10mm Kimber Eclipse government-size 1911, which had always felt very powerful to me, but at that moment, it didn't feel so powerful anymore ... she looked BIG. Fortunately, the momma didn't attack ... my Alaskan son told me that she was probably about to run them off anyway, and probably didn't feel very protective of them anymore. I backed slowly away, and circled around so I could slowly leave the area the way I had come in.

That very weekend, I bought a S&W 69 4" L-Frame 5-shot .44mag, and started carrying it with full-spec 240gr JHP Underwoods. About 6 months ago, I bought a S&W 629 5" N-Frame full-underlug "Classic" .44mag that I like even better, and that's been my new EDC for the last 3 months.

Last edited by Mike_Fontenot; December 20, 2018 at 02:44 PM.
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Old December 20, 2018, 03:19 PM   #37
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LOL, I bet a grizzly or black bear could run twice as fast as the guy pulling the sled!
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Old December 20, 2018, 03:21 PM   #38
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Quote:
a S&W 69 4" L-Frame 5-shot .44mag, and started carrying it with full-spec 240gr JHP Underwoods. About 6 months ago, I bought a S&W 629 5" N-Frame full-underlug "Classic" .44mag that I like even better, and that's been my new EDC for the last 3 months.
Geez, Mike...I have the exact same pair in my safe right now...I do carry the M69 far more because of its lighter weight, and for me, better balance, but for range use, where I'm burning a greater number of rounds, the much heavier 629 5" is a lot more comfortable. Both are equally accurate BTW.

This part of Kentucky has zero bears, so if I carry here, it's for trailing up wounded deer in super heavy brush and multi-flora where a rifle of any sort is just about useless.

Were I still elk hunting annually out in Colorado, as I was many years ago, the added weight might not have mattered and extra round of the 629 is that much more protection, ...Back then, I found that a tanker type of holster, cross chest and outside of my hunting jacket, kept the short gun accessible, and didn't interfere with with my pack board straps nor tumpline when packing out quarters (where a rifle is just to clumsy. In those far off days I toted a Ruger SBH in .44 Magnum a year or so, then switched to a S&W M29 6"er with max heavy hand loads. Only once did I pack out without a gun on me, and I on the trek back to the kill site, when I went back for another load I found fresh bear tracks on my outbound trail ...it gave me the willies for sure.

Rod
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Old December 20, 2018, 04:33 PM   #39
Mike_Fontenot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodFac
I have the exact same pair in my safe right now...I do carry the M69 far more because of its lighter weight, and for me, better balance, but for range use, where I'm burning a greater number of rounds, the much heavier 629 5" is a lot more comfortable.
What motivated my purchase of the 5" 629 was that I wasn't able to keep the lighter 69 from inertially pulling down the cylinder-stop during recoil, thereby allowing the cylinder to rotate during recoil. That had caused the fifth and last round to rotate during the recoil from the 4th fired round and end up aligned with the barrel. Then, when I cocked the hammer to take the 5th shot, that round would be rotated past the barrel, and the first fired casing would be rotated into alignment with the barrel, causing a failure to fire when I pulled the trigger. I DID succeed in fixing the failure to fire problem by using a heavier hammer spring, which reduces the amount of rotation enough (because it takes more energy to pull the firing pin out of the primer crater) so that the fifth round doesn't get skipped. But I still didn't like the fact that the cylinder-stop was been unlocked by the recoil. I'm almost certain that the inertial pull-down of the cylinder-stop was caused by the fact that I use a VERY relaxed grip, with very relaxed and flexed elbows. That produces a sharper movement of the gun during recoil, and a very high muzzle rise. So I ordered the heavier 5" 629, hoping that the extra weight would keep the cylinder-stop from being inertially pulled down by the recoil. It did ... I've never found any evidence of the cylinder-stop unlocking in that gun. (The evidence, in the case of the 69, was a small visible scratch on the rear of the fired casing, made by the firing pin, leading out of the primer crater). I wasn't sure I'd be able to conceal carry the heavier gun, but it turned out to conceal very well and carry very comfortably. So I've been able to switch to it for my everyday carry gun.
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Old December 20, 2018, 06:19 PM   #40
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hx-saB0HQtg
LOL, I bet a grizzly or black bear could run twice as fast as the guy pulling the sled!
True, but that wasn't the point of the test.

It was a relative test in terms of the 'pulled-speed' of the simulated 'charging bear' (the sled with target) versus the shooter's ability to react in time and put accurate hits into vital areas.

So, for example, if the shooter here was only able to fire one or two errant shots with his .454 Mega-Magnun, or only got one hit into a non-critical area on this 'charging bear' sled, how do you think he would've fared doing it with a real faster charging Grizz?

The answer is, the shooter would've ended up as lunch-meat for the bear.

Interestingly, the autoloaders they tested all did better in placing more shots faster into critical/vital areas (including a couple of head shots) than did the big-bore revolvers.
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Old December 20, 2018, 06:38 PM   #41
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Super redhawk casull for everything with claws and teeth for this old guy
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Old December 20, 2018, 09:32 PM   #42
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It was a relative test in terms of the 'pulled-speed' of the simulated 'charging bear' (the sled with target) versus the shooter's ability to react in time and put accurate hits into vital areas.
But really, what bear runs in a perfectly straight line as on a sled?
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Old December 20, 2018, 09:47 PM   #43
wild cat mccane
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Avid back country hiker every weekend here from Utah. Do it in Alaska 3 times year just for fun too Hi.

Never once in my life have a met a person with a real bear story. Not once.
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Old December 20, 2018, 09:53 PM   #44
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To all who wondered why someone would carry bear spray AND a suitable handgun, I think the answer is obvious. What do you do IF the spray doesn't work????

I find some comfort in the thought that the odds are that I would not be instantly killed or rendered immobile the instant the bear reaches me. As long as that's the case, then there is a chance that a pistol might safe your life. Perhaps not much, but more than one would have if you didn't have a pistol on you.

One bowhunter survived a grizzly attack and killed the bear by stabbing it repeatedly with a broadhead arrow. He was horribly injured, but he survived. If you put all your faith in bear spray, I wish you well.
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Old December 20, 2018, 09:54 PM   #45
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Supposedly one doesn’t need to load it super hot....just something along the lines of 300gr above 1200fps will go thru most animals
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Old December 21, 2018, 03:34 AM   #46
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I said earlier that bear spray would be good unless you were already carrying a gun and were already at your maximum for comfortably carried gear. IRL, that's always been the case for me. My pockets are full. There is stuff on my belt. I'm already carrying a bigger firearm than I would for civilized EDC. I have never once chosen to try squeezing bear spray into my woodland carry nor pepper spray into my EDC.

Given my total lack of field testing of spray-based defensive tools, some consideration of how they work, and some analysis of pepper spray for civilian EDC; the doubts some of you have raised here over bear spray are resonating with me. I'll amend my recommendation to "could be" a good idea under specific circumstances and stick to ".357 or 10mm with the right ammo should be fine for black bear".
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Old December 21, 2018, 05:16 PM   #47
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Wildcat:
Quote:
Never once in my life have a met a person with a real bear story. Not once.
I have never met you,but I have a bear experience. 6 foot six nose to tail. Male black bear.Fit the pattern of predator behavior.Bit my wife.We were 200 river miles from the road.I had a 20 in bbl Win 97 12 ga and I killed him..I have little doubt that if I was unarmed we would have had a far more terrible,perhaps fatal experience.Junction of the Yukon and Nowitna Rivers

I live in northern Coorado.I've been told :"I;ve spent 40 years here outside and never seen a rattlesnake:"(Snakes don't bother me.I leave them alone if they aren't in my yard.)

That tells me the person is not good at spotting snakes.Come a warm day in the spring I know a trail I usually hear or see two or three. I've seen a lion on that same trail that ws unimpressed that I was a human.


With respect for those who can tell us typical book bear behavior,bears don't read books.They are individuals.You can describe typical human behavior all you want,Ted Bundy was out there.A bear does what he feels like doing.


Even among livestock,cattle and horses,you will last longer if you consider them unpredictable.


I'll say it again,I own suitable handguns,I have a 5 in bbl SBH. It will do.Two handed,I thumb during recoil and its as fast as any 44 magnum for the wheel full.What matters is that its an old friend.It always works,and it points like my finger.Is it the BEST bear defense gun? No. I have it.It will do.


If I was going to buy a new bear handgun,it would be a Glock 20 10mm with a Lone Wolf grooved barrel,laded with 200 gr plus Buff Bore,or equivalent.


If you want to use a 9mm,that up to yu.Its your butt.


Before I went to the bushes in AK,I went to the museum in Fairbanks and studied bear anatomy a bit.The nose has spongy sinus cavity up into the brain pan.


My shotgun only had a white bead.I held on the nose and took out his lower teeth.He went down and got right back up.My second shot broke his neck.


In both cass,the lead Foster slug showed disappointing penetration.


I've followed the video adventures of a Woman who solo hiked (with occasional companions) the Appalachian Trail,the Pacific Rim Trail,and the Continental Divide Trail.

She was alone,at night,among black bears,lions,and grizzlies.


She did a vid about it (bears,spray,guns,etc) She comes from a shooting family,and is gun friendly. She mostly said "Its your choice,I'm not going to tell you what to do.Here are things to consider"

These trails took her through several states,jurisdictions,National Parks,etc.

She suggested to consider legalities.Especially Appalachian and Pacific Rim trails. If its not open carry,its too slow.Open carry,you will meet other hikers.Word will travel if they see you armed. Guns are heavier than bear spray. She carried spray,and kept it handy eating,sleeping,bathing,etc.


Spray may not be perfect. I place more faith in a gun. But spray beats helpless.Stats say its pretty good.


AK is pretty serious about game laws. A SD bear shoot requires turning in the head and hide,paperwork,and an interview. Bear spray,assuming it works,might suggest advising a game warden of a problem bear. How you spend your vacation time is up to you.We had an injury,no ice or salt,we had more than 24 hours travel to get to a hospital.We left the meat,and had no problem,but without an injured person,leaving the meat may have been a serious issue. I don't know for sure.
.

Last edited by HiBC; December 21, 2018 at 07:45 PM.
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Old December 21, 2018, 06:46 PM   #48
Mike_Fontenot
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Good post, HiBC!
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Old December 21, 2018, 07:49 PM   #49
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deleted....I can't BEAR to get into these debates!
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Old December 22, 2018, 09:09 AM   #50
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deleted....I can't BEAR to get into these debates!
Well, it's certainly been a very Bear-licious thread.
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